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Volume XLIV, No.50

A Comic Tragedy

by Som Benegal

Tuesday 24 April 2007


It is a tragedy, when it is not a comedy, that relations between Pakistan and India have remained at an absurd level even after 60 years when the country was divided along incredibly ununderstandable lines. Those who have known what happened when India was partitioned and are still alive will understand those traumatic times which later generations will never relise.

At the lowest level of comedy, the Muslim League which spearheaded the campaign for a Pakistan would never give their opinion on any subject, political or otherwise, without first waiting for the Congress to do so and then resolve the exact opposite! When Pakistan was eventually formed it was described, ruefully, as a “moth-eaten Pakistan”. How it was so, it was never explained. Perhaps the idea was that it should have been an equal half in every respect. Certainly, Pakistan has insisted in the face of reality that it should be considered so. Whatever India did or got should be replicated for Pakistan in equal measure. The hyphenation of India and Pakistan by Britain which could not reconcile itself to the loss of its Empire due to India is understandable, the attitude of the USA is less so but no doubt determined by its strategic interests and other ambitions in international management. This has led to absurdities.

However Pakistan, lamentably,has never been reconciled to its position in the Indian sub-continent, indeed the world itself. The assertion of the mirage of physical equality has led to unfortunate results. One must at this point unequivocally assert that India has never claimed nor insisted on its superiority vis-a-vis Pakistan. But Pakistan’s desire to frustrate, thwart, or block India’s chance of having an Indian as Secretary-General of the United Nations by putting up its own candidate is one of the latest exhibitions of its perverted glee at such a prank. And to add to this with a lecture on the danger of India losing the chance of a permanent seat in the Security Council is masterly but ridiculously hilarious impudence!

Truth to tell, there is really no imperative need for India to hve sponsored a candidate for the Secretary-General’s post, and enter a needless competition. There are other more important pursuits.
(Courtesy: Neighbourhood Flash)

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